Ford president of the Americas, Mark Fields, described the new 2011 Explorer as reinventing the SUV for the 21st century. It remains to be seen if the new unibody Explorer will meet customer expectations for SUV-like capability. The one thing it should be able to do is provide a healthy bump in Ford's truck-fleet CAFE numbers.
We still don't have any final EPA numbers for the Explorer, but Ford has made it clear that it expects both new powertrains to top the outgoing editions by at least 30 percent. Interestingly, the base engine is an updated 290 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that replaces the discontinued 4.6-liter V8. The V6 is available with either front or all-wheel-drive and offers a 5,000-pound towing capacity.
The extra cost engine option will be the 2.0-liter Ecoboost four with a rating of about 237 hp and 250 pound-feet of torque. Based on the 30 percent estimate compared to the ancient 4.0-liter V6, the four should hit about 18 miles per gallon city and 26-27 mpg highway. Not too shabby for a big, seven-passenger SUV/crossover. Check out Autoblog for all of the details on the Explorer here and here.